Sunday, December 13, 2009

Circle of Life

The Professor and I have started on a grand search to get a new cat. We've decided we definitely want another Bengal. Sultan was so wonderful and neurotic, and I know another Bengal will be neurotic in its own way, but I'm hoping it will be neurotically-related to Sultan. And so, for the first time since I wrote it, I went back and revisited the post I wrote about him when we had to put him to sleep. And unexpectedly, he was here again. I'm not a person who has to take their pet on trips, or dress them up (have you SEEN some of those cat outfits?!?!), or treat them as a baby in other ways (I laugh, derisively, at those people, truth be told - a cat is a CAT, for goodness sake!). But all of a sudden, the days after that one were HERE again: when I'd walk in the house and automatically look for 2 cats instead of one. When I would sit on the couch, ready to hear the sound of a cat not getting the attention He Deserved, and realize that He was gone. When I'd open the bag of food and not get attacked. It was surprisingly hard to read that post. I'm ready to be attacked again.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette

Ok, y’all, it’s like the Fairies of Employment Fun are following me around these days. I am not even making this up: All of the women in my organization got an email today asking us to “check behind you when using the bathroom” because someone pooped on the toilet seat – and that this is the second time this has happened. Being the good employee that I am, I immediately forwarded the email to one of my male coworkers and asked him how often the men get emails like this. Apparently, they don't. I told him I pitied G, our building manager, for having to send that email. I can just picture G sitting there, staring at the email with the word “feces” jumping out of his screen at him, thinking “there’s nothing left to do but hit send. I really have to hit send, don’t I?.” The poor man. Every time I go to the bathroom at work I’m going to think about this email and giggle. And since we’ve never discussed my work bathrooms before (aren't you glad we're discussing them now?), I’ll tell you another fascinating tidbit: We have an old card catalog in the one of the women’s bathrooms. When they put it in there, I thought it was just going to be a place to store some feminine type supplies. But a few people are using it as an Atomic Event Readiness Reserve. There’s the toothbrush and hair brush, sure. But there’s also a jar of peanut butter, a juice box, bottle of water, cheese crackers, and several other type snacks in there. Who goes in the bathroom and thinks “Oh, look! Food storage!”?

Monday, December 07, 2009

I won't be falling asleep at work this week

Scene I: Last Monday, 5:45 AM: My cell phone rings. I’ve been on vacation for a week, so one of my employees calls me to let me know that we don’t have any heat at work, that the damage is bad but they have an estimated completion date: February. We’re on less than 50% of our boiler capacity for the entire building for 10 weeks, because the one boiler that is working isn’t working correctly. Time to break out the scarves & fingerless gloves. And the hot chocolate. And maybe the party supplies – parties always warm me up. Scene II: Tuesday, 7 AM: I’m at work and find out that my room is next in the Great Library Recarpeting Adventure of 2009. Nothing goes out of our room except for the old carpet. We’re just moving stuff around the room for the entire week like squirrels re-arranging their winter acorn supply, working around the guys. I would say “like deck chairs on the Titanic”, but no one has actually died (yet) from the fumes of A) the old glue under the old carpet, B) the new glue for the new carpet, and/or C) The disgusting sludge that mysteriously appeared in one spot when the old carpet was ripped out. Also, the tiny particles that have infiltrated my lungs make me wonder if I’ve just discovered what it’s like to breathe fiberglass, but I’m kind of afraid to find out the answer to that question, so I just keep those thoughts to myself. And another Also: can mold spores start growing in your lungs? Mold likes warm, damp places, so if I were mold, I think lungs would be a good place to make a home. Unless the fiberglass got there first and beat me up. Scene III: Thursday afternoon: Staring at my inbox, an encouraging email arrives. In a nutshell it says “We think you’re getting too complacent with how things are going this week, so while some work is being done in another part of the building, the power will randomly shut off and on starting Monday, expected to be finished in 2 weeks. This will affect the functioning of the fire alarm, causing you to want to rip out your ear drums. Have a nice weekend!” Scene IV: Today, Monday, 0730: I walk into the office. There’s no heat, the new carpet is 85% installed, my lungs remind me that they emptied themselves of mold & fiberglass over the weekend for a reason – namely, so I can breathe – and the power is out for half the hallway & 4 cubicles, and the fire alarm isn’t working correctly, it has in fact decided to amuse itself by randomly going off for 5-6 minutes at a time. My cubicle has power (Yay?) – but the email server, internet server & [Library Software You’ve Never Heard Of] server are all down. Meaning: No emailing, cataloging, book ordering, random internet surfing or other type of work will be done until at least one of them is back up and running. So, in things I'm grateful for this week: A) Dear Baby Jesus, I’m glad we lost heat in the winter rather than A/C in the summer; B) Did I mention our old carpet was oozing, so it was kinda fun to see what was underneath of there – especially since the oozing spot is on the far end of the room from me and I can yell “Hey, Sue! How’s your ooze today?” at random points in time; C) Everyone needs an interrupted power supply at some point to make them grateful to Al Gore for creating the Internets. The malfunctioning fire alarm – the bell for which resides on the wall over my cubicle – can go to hell, though.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

It's like that time that I thought I was dying from food poisoning. Only worse.

It was an eventful week at work (nothing bad, just lots of crazy), culminating in a late Friday night snow shower that disappeared before I woke up this morning - which, admittedly, was a little later than anyone wanting to see snow should have been in bed. But all of this is meaningless, in light of what happened to me at the mechanic this morning. Mike wasn't there. I called a few days ago to let him know to order the Top-Secret-Super-Special Oil that my Prius takes. Everything seemed fine. Normal. He didn't ask to take today off, didn't tell me that he was putting some unknown woman behind the desk to take the key out of my hand. I walked in and was immediately confused and unsure. It took me a long time to find Mike. I'm not ready to break up with him yet. Oh, the pain! Oh my breaking heart! So my car is in the hands of someone named Lora. A nice woman, sure, with a great smile. She's still learning the computer system, so it took awhile. That didn't bother me, because I was frantically peering through the window into the shop, scanning to see if Mike was halfway under a hood or fondling someone else's engine. (Oddly enough, no one found a woman staring at a garage full of mechanics note worthy. Have I not been following protocol all the times that I *didn't* ogle the men?). Luckily for my nerves one of the mechanics was with her. Somehow* he knew who I was, knew about the Top-Secret-Super-Special Oil that my Prius takes and that it had been ordered this week, knew that I wasn't going to stay in the waiting room. He knew my routine. He remembered my old car. He's not Mike. But he'll do. For now. *It's the cookies. It seems I always go in there in December, so I usually bring them cookies when I pick my car up. Everyone deserves cookies in December. Especially if you're working on my car. Not-Mike is definitely getting cookies today. I can't take any chances right now, with Mike gone. My heart is too fragile. Update: Oh Noes! They finished with my car in record time - 1 hour instead of 3-4, so I didn't have time to bake them cookies. I'm getting a bad-car-karma feeling in my stomach that exactly matches the pain in my heart over Mike's defection.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Professor

The Professor is the faculty advisor for a fraternity. Meaning: He goes to weekly meetings, yells at them when they make bad grades, and takes me to fraternity parties. Really: What 32 year old is still going to frat parties? At the meeting tonight, they passed around a piece of paper labeled: "I love The Professor because..." A couple of my favorite answers: " He has an epic mustache." "I can see my reflection in his head." There was more, but those are my 2 favorite. For the record: I, too, love his mustache and his shiny head.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Message?

At 3 random places around the city today, I've heard 3 different people whistling/humming "If I only had a brain". How am I supposed to interpret that?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mind Games

Whenever I run across the movie "Forbidden Planet" in the DirecTV guide (which has been quite often lately), the opening song of The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets stuck in my head.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wondering Why

It's 63 degrees outside. My windows are open and I'm loving the weather, sitting on my back porch with a glass of wine. The neighbor's air conditioner just kicked on. What the hell temperature is it in their house?

Friday, September 04, 2009

No-Longer-Suppressed Rant*

Really, people? You're upset because the president wants to give your kids an inspirational message? A message to stay in school, work hard, study, be involved, and give a damn about the world? You're afraid to let your kids hear that? I almost wish I had kids. So that I could point to the president and say "see him? See this man? See what he's made of himself? TRY HARDER". Obviously, the unraveling of society as we know it will happen in 30.6 seconds after kids hear a person of authority telling them to set their sights high. To make the world a better place. BECAUSE WE LIKE THE WORLD THE WAY IT IS, DAMMIT, AND YOU DAMN KIDS SHOULDN'T DREAM. And like the kids are going to pay attention anyway. They're counting down the minutes til they can go to recess and play whatever "throw the ball at the unpopular kid" is all the rage these days. Indoctrination? Cult of Personality? I need more wine. *This rant comes to you courtesy of some things I've seen on Facebook, and the fact that I don't want to pick fights with strangers on a mutual friends wall. But let me assure you: THEY'RE WRONG.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

77

The Blessed Year I was born. The High temperature today. Either one of these could be the reason that I love the number 77. That is all.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Taking "There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters" To A Whole New Level

I seem to have a psychic connection with one of my older sisters. It's kinda freaky sometimes, but - luckily - I happen to like her an awful lot, so occasionally sharing a brain isn't a strain. The examples of this are almost endless, but take tonight for instance. I've been puttering in my kitchen for about 45 minutes, making Chicken Tikka Masala. I made it for the first time when I was at her place last week, and I wanted to work on the recipe so I can post it online. Then, about 10 minutes ago, I check Facebook and see my sister has put up:

I really wish there were someone here to cook me Chicken Tikka Masala.

Have I mentioned we're over 400 miles apart? That I never mentioned what I was going to cook? So, I cook and she craves. Now I have to experiment with this. Maybe tomorrow I'll make a big pot of red sauce and some homemade garlic herb bread. If that doesn't get her attention, nothing will.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Post That Has Been Demanded By Many*

*Where "Many" = "More Than One" So, awhile ago, I commenced on "Operation Make The Professor's Head Explode With Fervent Re-Decorating", as a result of an overload of HGTV Watching. While The Professor's head is still very much intact, I'm claiming victory because dear Flying Spaghetti Monster am I in love with my living/dining room now. Since only a select few - The Chosen, if you will - have had the glory of seeing my* creation, we'll take a little tour of my new living space.

 *it wasn't really all mine, I needed The Bestest Friend's help and reassurance every step of the way, because I was convinced I was going to create a room that no one but me wanted to step foot in. She assures me that she still enjoys putting a step in. Maybe even two.

 I wish I had before shots, but I don't. I completely re-arranged the furniture and painted the walls. The Professor ripped up the carpet, and we had laminate put down. Then I - with the BFFs help - commenced the decorating. I found some amazing deals, and...well, let's just look at pictures, hmm? Let's go ahead and acknowledge that I need to learn to compensate for all the sunshine coming through the windows. Looking at the front door: I love those blue curtains. They make my heart sing every time I see them. Side view of that corner, just because I love the way that little print looks over there. In case you couldn't guess, that's the fireplace. And just because I love it so much, that's the painting above the fireplace, with a close up of the ceiling fan pull just for kicks. The long wall that has the TV station. It looks amazingly blank here, but much better in real life. You'll just have to trust me. (For Those of you who are The Chosen: That's the wall the couch was on before.) Looking from the front door towards the dining room & kitchen. Funny side story: When The Professor saw the blue pillow he asked why I chose to decorate our living room like a bordello. He actually used the word "bordello". I think he is the first person to do that this century. That's across from the dining room table, our little "office area", where no office-type work is ever done. Only many, many games of Mah-Jong. And finally, looking from the kitchen through both rooms. I'm not technically sure if you can even call it two rooms, but I do, so you will too. I'm wondering if I should finish the kitchen. I painted one wall blue a year and a half ago, and now I Want to paint the rest of it a lighter shade. But...that would require crawling all over the cabinets, which would be drastically against my lazy lifestyle. I may have to over-indulge on HGTV again to find the motivation. Maybe in 3 or 4 years, I'll get around to that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medical Update, which may be a bit of Too Much Information

1) In the midst of last weekend's Family Festivities, my sister noticed the mole on the back of my shoulder and commented on the shape and color of it. The Professor, never one to take a Medical Emergency lightly, promptly made an appointment with the dermatologist. Assuming that if *I* have a problem, then he should get to be checked out as well: he made back-to-back appointments and he promptly scheduled an hour of dermatological examinations. Isn't it sweet that we do these things together? 2) I spent some time in the squash patch a couple of days ago, weeding and seeing to the General Order of Things. Somewhere in The Proceedings, a Biting Bug made its way down my backside. When it started biting, I started hopping. I'm sure the neighbors got a pleasant view of me with my hand down my pants, frantically swiping at The Nuisance. The result: My behind looks like I sat on a patch of stinging nettles. Thank god for cortisone cream, because sitting is now very...itchy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Get to Know Me

Because I don't spill enough about myself already? As my big sister leads, so I follow... 1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:10 AM 2. How do you like your steak? On the rare side of medium rare – just done enough that it’s warm all the way through. 3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 4. What is your favorite TV show? That would imply I watch TV on a regular basis. I’ll go with anything on HGTV. 5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Amsterdam 6. What did you have for breakfast? Banana and a piece of Canadian bacon 7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian. Or maybe Mexican. No, wait! Indian…or Italian? 8. What foods do you dislike? More than I can count. Short list of things I absolutely hate: Beans of any variety, sauerkraut, mayonnaise, condiments in general, anything ranch-flavored, corn… 9. Favorite Place to Eat? My mama’s kitchen. Or my sister’s. Or mine, if I did a good job that day. 10. Favorite dressing? Dressing is gross. Enjoy the flavor of the vegetables, people! 11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? 2001 Camry. 12. What are your favorite clothes? My denim skirt and one of several tank tops. 13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Australia. Or Russia. No, Costa Rica. How about “anywhere I haven’t ever been, and most of the places I have”. 14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? ½ full, unless I’m angry. Then I throw it at you and it’s 100% empty. 15. Where would you want to retire? Wherever The Professor does, which will probably be near a beach. 16. Favorite time of day? When I get home from work. 17. Where were you born? Louisville, KY 18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball, if I have to. 19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Tara 20. Person you expect to tag you back first? Stacey 21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? My mom’s 22. Bird watcher? If they fly in front of me. 23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night. But – scarily enough – I enjoy getting up early now… 24. Do you have any pets? 1 cat 25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share? My living room redecorating project is finished - and so, I hope, is spending money for awhile. 26. What did you want to be when you were little? Teacher 27. What is your best childhood memory? Holding my new baby brother in the hospital for the first time 28. Are you a cat or dog person? Cats. 29. Are you married? Yes. 30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes. 31. Been in a car accident? Yes. 32. Any pet peeves? Don’t get me started. 33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Cheese, pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, cheese 34. Favorite Flower? Lilies, Orchids, Tulips… 35. Favorite ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked 36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Taco Bell…isn’t it everyone’s? 37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? None 38. From whom did you get your last email? My boss. 39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Amazon…but only if someone else pays off the balance. 40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Not that I’ll write about where my mother might read it. 41. Like your job? Ask me again in 2 weeks. 42. Broccoli? Never. 43. What was your favorite vacation? I love them all. I’m getting the feeling that I don’t do well with picking favorites. 44. Last person you went out to dinner with? The Professor and The Bestest Friend 45. What are you listening to right now? My Broadway playlist. 46. What is your favorite color? Blue. 47. How many tattoos do you have? None. 48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? I didn't count, I just started typing names. 49. What time did you finish this quiz? 6:30 50. Coffee Drinker? Not anymore, and thanks for reminding me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good Sister / Bad Sister

Good Sister: My older sister, known to many as Ember Case. She got her second eBook - GO HERE NOW! - published last month, and I'm here to tell you it's melt-your-knickers-off hot. And steamy. Now, normally I don't do hot and steamy in the middle of an Alabama July. But this time, it's more than worth it. If you haven't gone and bought it yet...well, hie thee off and set aside an hour or so to get your knickers melted off. I read it pre-polishing and can only imagine the level to which my knickers are about to be melted. Bad Sister: ME. See, the book was published the day after I got back from vacation, and I downloaded it but didn't actually OPEN the thing until tonight. And there, on page five are the dedications. And who's in the first line? ME! She put me first! Me, who didn't even open it til tonight. Me, who may have just forfeited the privilege of reading any more of her works of genius until I pay for them. I may have to buy her love back with chocolate and wine, but it will be totally worth it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Little Help From My Friends

The Bestest Friend has forcibly reminded me that I have been a lazy blogess, and she's going to faint when she reads this, but ... she's right. Did you hear that?? YOU'RE RIGHT. So. We are so close to having everything done in my living room. I love just sitting in there now, it's so bright and cheery. So here are 2 of our projects of which I am most proud. 1) The table lamp. The Best Friend is wicked scary with a bottle of spray paint. Nothing is sacred. Sometimes, I even fear for her dogs. But when I needed a lamp painted, I was glad of this talent. The lamp was just boring black. Before: After an hour in her custody: The next project was a little more labor intensive. The chair was in bad shape. But nothing defeats us! Before: Ignore the bedding in the background, it was emptied out of the spare room so the ceiling could be fixed. And that's a cat toy under the chair, in case you're wondering why I just leave blue fuzzy thing laying on my floor. After: The fabric was a steal. It cost $17 a yard. But I found a 2 yard piece in the clearance bin for $6. So now I have a bunch more of this fabric to find something to do with. Maybe a pillow? There's no stopping us now!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Briefly

Yesterday: Beach, National Park, and many Beautiful Views. With a night cap at the local pub. Today: Wineries, with an end-cap at Powell's. Why yes, I am on vacation. How did you know?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Conversations in an Airport

StepSon: "Did you see Slumdog Millionaire?" Me: "No, was it good? " StepSon: "Yeah, they-" Me: "Stop! Don't tell me the end! You always tell me the end!" StepSon: "The end was really cool! They-" Me: "No! Stop" StepSon: "Fine, I'll tell Dad." Also, the laptop came in helpful for a discussion over the largest city in the world. Occupational Hazard: People expect me to solve these dilemmas, which of course I have to make more difficult with questions like "Define city - do you mean city limits or metro areas?" Anyway, Wikipedia may or may not be right, but it was a quick way to end a 10 minute debate.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summertime...And The Living Is Easy

Do you know what one of the worst parts of June is? This*: June Bugs. God, how I hate them. I have an infestation this year that makes me afraid to step foot outside after 8 PM, lest I be dive-bombed from all directions by the Minions of Satan. They seem to have an especial affinity for my hair and the window screens - anything that they can cling to with their tiny gripping legs, leaving me convinced I will be forced to live through that horrible scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in which horrible disgusting bugs crawl down ears**. I hope you sleep well tonight. Have I mentioned I am not a fan? That must mean it's time for a Summer Adventure! The Professor, the Beloved StepSon and I leave tomorrow for a Great NorthWestern Escape. We're heading to Portland for a week to visit family. And visit wineries. And to drink from my sister-in-law's wine cellar. And visit breweries. And to ... have I mentioned the wine? My biggest Sadness - not really a huge thing, all things considered - is that this Great State Of Mine tells me that it's illegal to ship wine to my house, limiting me to what I can get home in my suitcase. Somehow, I will persevere, and simply enjoy all the wine I can whilst I'm gone. I could ship it to my sister's, in the hope that it will still be there for our August road trip, but then I'd have to trust that she won't drink it all before I get there. Considering it's summer, and her kids are home for the summer, those may be some steep odds. The living room is mostly put back together, which makes it much more fun to be in the living room. The concrete floor - while functional, in that it holds up the house - wasn't exactly the warm and inviting place I'd like my home to portray. So, I'm off to a land of evening temperatures below 80, verdant with grape vines. Hopefully also lacking in Scary Bugs With Gripping Legs. So tell me. Do you have Scary Bugs? And where are you going this month? *Photo courtesy of donjd2. **Yes, those were more slug-like than beetle-like, but it's my nightmare and I'll revisit it as I see fit.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Concrete isn't the most comfy seating in the world

The living room remodel is in full swing now. And now that we've moved past painting to demolition, The Professor's head has ceased it spontaneous combusting, which is really a win-win for all involved. Very messy stuff, those exploding brains. This is what he did today:
In case you can't tell, the carpet's gone and that's our concrete slab he's sitting on.
Yes, the TV is still in the living room for our enjoyment (seen on the far left, there), although *I'm* certainly not trying to enjoy it. Today he spent 5 hours ripping up the carpet, padding and the bits of nail-infused wood holding it all down. He's never quite as happy as when he's destroying something. Mr Floor Dude doesn't actually come out til next Monday to lay the new floor, but since The Professor is gone on his annual trip as of Wednesday night, I get the glory of living in the bedroom for a week. My ass - apparently - isn't as hardened as The Professor's.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I also moonlinght as a tour guide

In case you've spent 2 days wondering - the veggies all got cooked, the food all got eaten and we still don't have an empty beer fridge, but that's a result I can learn to live with. The damn gas on the grill gave out when the chicken was just this side of being safe to eat. Luckily, there was plenty of heat left and I just closed the top and drank a beer while I waited. Then I temped them all with my meat thermometer, and then - because I'm paranoid someone will croak one day as a result of my cooking and tarnish my perfect track record of not killing people - I cut them all open with a knife. Today, we got to play tour guide to the soon-to-be Alabamians. And did I mention they're coming from California? They have so much to look forward to. The Big City up the road really has some good stuff in it, if you ignore all the bad/crazy stuff (I'm looking at YOU Mr. Mayor!). We took them to an Indian restaurant for lunch, as it's one of The Professor's most favoritest places to eat when up in The Big City and our little corner of this county is not quite ready for that much culture exposure. They've given into Mexican, and someone was brave enough this year to put in a Japanese place with "Sushi" proudly proclaimed on its sign. The Indian subcontinent may have to wait awhile longer. We took them up the city park that has the public library, museum of art, city hall and county courthouse around it. It would have been a lovely stroll - except every fountain and reflecting pool was empty and being painted. There was so much fresh paint that the scent of paint hung over the park like a cloud. Everywhere we turned (it's a small park, but still) we smelled it. And Mrs Pregnant California had her first experience of not understanding a word out of a Southerner's mouth when one lady asked her when the baby's due. I told her to mark that one off of her Southern Bingo Card and see what happens next. It didn't take long. Next up was a trip to an antebellum home right in The Big City that survived the Big War (and I hope you know which war that is). Quite a beautiful house and the grounds were lovely, even if it is in a kinda bad area of town.
Arlington Antebellum Home & Gardens
The Californians really liked the look of the huge Magnolia trees growing around the property - some were absolutely huge. I simply love Magnolia flowers, but The Professor doesn't like the vast amounts of leavings these trees drape around your property, so we won't be getting one.
Sugar Magnolia, blossoms bloomin'*
*yes, I know it's not really called a Sugar Magnolia, but that's what the song says.
Ok remember the Southern Bingo Card? After the pretty house and trees, we set out through the city to visit the most famous landmark of all, but before we got there we passed a gas station with a sign that our guests took to mean "Welcome to Alabama". And they weren't far from the truth:
Are you hungry yet?
I'm glad there wasn't any traffic behind us at that red light, because we all wanted pictures of that sign. And now it's saved for posterity and I feel I've done my good deed for humanity for the day. After that, it was on to Vulcan park, which I hadn't visited since...well, since I was very small. And I haven't been very small in a while, so it's been a while. Vulcan, God of the Forge, called us to visit his mighty throne:
Hail, Vulcan!
The best thing about going up to see Vulcan (besides the naked iron butt cheeks, I mean) is the view of the city: After that, we visited another Professor with views of the city even more impressive than Vulcan, stopped for smoothies, tooled around the part of town that they're actually going to be living in, and generally had a good time. Here's to hoping there's one less person (or two) frightened of our fair state. More pictures of the day at my Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lildebbie77/

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm fine today, thanks

This is what I have looking at me: In a matter of a few hours it will turn into a double batch of couscous tabbouleh, a pile o' guacamole, and a big heapling pile of coconut curry veggies. Then it's just a matter of cooking some basmati rice, grilling up the chicken and cracking open a beer or 4. Although one of the guests of honor is pregnant, so if she's the only one not drinking, I'll switch that beer to Sprite Zero. And if The Professor happens to splash some bourbon in it while I'm not looking, well...I'll just have to drink it. Thriftiness, you know. Also? Look at what The Bestest Friend and I found for over my fire place: The living room is freaking incredible. A new floor and a day spent hanging things on the walls and I'll be good. The Professor may need therapy, but what else is new?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Skies, Smiling at Me

When you begin your day by walking into work and hearing your boss say Im not in a good mood, but we need to talk, its pretty much a sign that this is not going to be a Hey, youre so awesome that you get a raise speech.*

When you end your day with an employee who needs to talk because she feels shes doing too much work thats beneath her pay grade, wellwell just call it end caps.

Coming home to discover that The Professor isnt exactly speaking to anyone (hes in Deep Thinker, No Talker mode, which he does when a decision must be made) made me feel less guilty for not offering to share the bottle of red that I dove into began appreciating shortly thereafter.

Tomorrow, Im off work. Its the Professors birthday. Were supposed to have an abundance of sunshine and I have a cookout for 10 in my backyard at 4:30. There will be grilled chicken, and damn it, THERE WILL BE FUN. And I will have some of both.

*I am awesome, but I didnt get a raise. And I wasnt the one who goofed. This time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Very Merry Month of May

I can say unequivocally that there has been almost no strolling through the park this month. I'm not sure what stars aligned to make this month insane, but it's been quite fun. If exhausting. First, the parents came and spent some quality time in Alabama. Believe it or not, "quality time" and "Alabama" *can* exist in the same sentence with no irony present. It was fun. As usual, we ate too much. And laughed almost enough. And The Professor discovered a grocery store that carries 8 separate varieties of Sam Adams beer (which is unusual for Alabama). Four days after they left, it was time for The Professor's Half Century Party. It was a few weeks early, but those pesky Academic types...they don't stick around much past graduation day. So we had the party *on* graduation day, to make sure they didn't have much of an excuse to skip out on our backyard. 1 backyard + 20 people = I don't know how many hot dogs and Bratwurst we went through (oh! Surprise of the year: I like Bratwurst now!), but somehow we ended up with more beer than we started with. I didn't question that, especially since I had more fun already planned. Five days after the party, it was time to head to Atlanta for a conference. Yes! Another library conference! You had no idea life could get this much fun. Even better - hold onto your knickers - my favorite session was by a librarian that had Improved Work Flows Between Acquisition And Cataloging (Not the actual title) that got me all fired up about how I could, um...improve workflows. No, I was not drunk. Even better, my rental car got triple upgraded again to a Pontiac G6 GT - seen here - and it was quite a sweet upgrade. The very night I got home, indeed, within hours, The Bestest Friend arrived and The Original Redhead drove in from A Little Ways Up North to help me empty, tape up, paint and re-arrange the living room. We completed it all in less than 24 hours, at which time we made a major dent in the Beer Collection. Here are the remnants after 2 weekends of partying: I told you there was a ton of beer left after that first party! People brought their own, drank our Coronas and then left their offerings. I should party more often. Anyway, we accomplished this before we imbibed much beer: It looks about 3 times as yellow as it actually is because of my flash, but I've never professed to be a good photographer. Somehow, even my white fan looks yellow in that picture. The room's still a work in progress, so...Moving on. Sidenote that will screw up the timeline of this post: A little later in the week, The Professor was overseeing the Satellite Guy installing a new outlet. Whilst up in the attic, he must have gotten bored, because when I got home, this is what I found in the spare bedroom: He stepped through the ceiling, but didn't get hurt so let's not dwell on this part. Last Sunday, after the friends departed, we took the Beloved Stepson out for his 18th birthday (*gulp*). And let's not get into that scariness, because... This weekend has been taken up with his graduation. From High School. As in, he's now 18 and going to college and has a pocketful of gift money and a huge party on a lake tonight with all his friends and his girlfriend and Oh. My. God. He looks so grown up. Fly little bird, fly. Well, if "little bird" means "one who is now 5 inches taller than I am". And it does. So I have a few days to rest, and then it's time for another party to welcome a new faculty member to The Professor's department. We've cut the number down to 10 this time, and the damn rain needs to just give me a few hours on Friday evening of niceness, since my house can't hold 10. Tonight? Tonight The Professor and I bought a nice bottle of wine. I think we're mostly celebrating. But there might also be a little of "Hey, let's look at our wedding album so we can say for the 8,123th time how much The Beloved StepSon has grown, and oh hey! Remember when he wanted to go on a day trip to Prague?"

Friday, May 01, 2009

Maybe I’ve been repressing the best parts of myself

It’s a Friday morning. Friday morning’s are the mornings least likely to need some form of caffeine to get me through it, because just thinking about the weekend gets me high. Who needs crack when there’s a Saturday around the corner? Maybe we could make every other day a Saturday and then no one would need crack anymore?

So I walk into work, humming a merry little tune. It’s a been a good week with the parents in town. Work is boring, but that’s ok. It’s given me time to think up creative new ways to make The Professor’s head explode. I may start cataloging them soon.

And so I do my morning routine. I really hadn’t noticed I was humming, but then…that’s kind of the point of humming, isn’t it?

And so one of the ladies asks “That sounds kind of familiar, what are you humming?”

I had to stop and think for a second before I told her “Good Morning Starshine”.

The look she gave me was more than blank. It was as if she were still waiting for me to respond. So I said it again, as a kind of question. “Good Morning Starshine?”

Still with that look, so I started singing “Good Morning Starshine….the earth says helloooo…”, hoping to get a reaction. Still nothing from her. And then, because I’m full of goofy Friday-ness, I keep singing: “You twinkle above us…we twinkle below…”. By now, I have an audience.

“Did she just say ‘Starshine’?” a lady that is a little … religiously conservative … whispered. “Is she one of those earth-types and I never knew it?”.

I rolled my eyes and before I could reply, another librarian laughed and said “No, she just sounds like a hippie 30 years out of date.” She totally meant that in a good way. And then she walked back to her desk whistling “Age of Aquarius”.

It’s a Revolution, I tell ya.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Google. It has failed me.

I made plans to go to lunch with a coworker today. We decided on a local Thai place that has good sushi (you’d be incredibly un-surprised to hear that’s kinda hard to find in Montgomery). I hadn’t been there in a couple of years, so I pulled up their menu online, and saw an ingredient in their “Beauty and the Beast” rolls that I hadn’t heard of before: “topigo”.

Now, I’ll admit that I’m not a huge sushi connoisseur – I like it, I eat it, but I wouldn’t be able to rate it beyond “good”. But when a Google search turned up nothing other than repeated attempts to get me to change my search (no, Google, I did NOT meant Toigo. Or top igo. Whatever THEY are.), I decided that I must try it. If an ingredient is so exotic, so mysterious that not even Teh Google can identify it, well…give me a fork and a double serving.

The sushi was, as usual, good. Conversation and company even better. I got the “Beauty and the Beast” rolls, since I was intrigued: Tuna, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and cream cheese topped with the mystery item. And, just to be whimsical, I threw in a cup of Wanton Soup - it's so much better than what I usually get from Chinese restaurants, because it’s not a bowl of broth with a huge noodle in it. They use actual vegetables.

The alfalfa sprouts were probably the most dangerous thing I ate: Turns out they’ve been linked to salmonella lately. The topigo? Was actually “toBigo”. Minor typo in their online menu. And it’s Fish Eggs.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Updates

First: The Tudors is back on. It’s funny, but now that they’re following history more closely, their viewers are leaving them in droves. I have several theories: 1) The writers used all their imagination while they re-wrote history in the first season, and now they’re just copying lines out of various textbooks. 2.) The story of one man getting married, getting bored when he doesn’t get a son, and then lining up his next queen before the current one is out of the picture.. well, repeating that 5 times gets a tad predictable around Queen Number Three. 3) All anyone ever cared about was the story of how Anne – that dirty dastardly woman – got to be Queen, because we all know she was just a dirty, filthy femme fatale. In fact, the Catholic Church - back then, not today, –told everyone she had a 6th finger as a sign of her evilness. Did that make it to the storyline? It wasn’t in the 5 cumulative minutes that I’ve watched, so I don’t know. I do know that The Professor has not yelled at the TV once this season. He’s been too busy snoring. I continue to be incredulous that this story can’t be both A) True and B) Fascinating. But there you have it. With “It” meaning “screenwriters can’t do history well and need to just move on to the next comic book”. For God’s sake, look what they (the screenwriters, not the comic books, KEEP UP) did to Beowulf (Ok, not history, but stay with me).THAT made it onto the big screen. Maybe if we could get Angelina Jolie to play all 6 wives, we’d have a winner. Second: In my newly de-coffeed world, I thought about taking at 2 Liter of my Diet Mtn Dew to work every day. Wine was really my first choice, but then I would start buying romance novels for the library instead of military non-fiction. And then I would get fired. In the end, I’ve just been drinking insane amounts of water. To keep me sane and my employees alive, I still have my Dew every morning with breakfast. But I have another myth to debunk for you: Anyone who says that caffeine makes you pee more (more than WHAT?), has never substituted water and then done scientific comparisons. I haven’t been scientific in the least, but I do know that I’m going to the ladies room every hour. And if that last sentence doesn't make you glad you read my ramblings, then I'm dead in the water.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life after coffee

It’s official. I am no longer a coffee drinker. After a while, I paid attention to all the acid with which my stomach was flooding my esophagus. I tried to outlast it, but apparently, the stomach really doesn’t ever run out of that stuff. It took me wishing for a digestive-track-replacement-surgery to get the message. But now I’m clean. The rest of you can thank your deity of choice for whoever is responsible for Diet Mountain Dew. Final tally: Stomach: 1, Me: 0 The Bestest Friend and I have officially embarked on Operation: Make The Professor’s Head Explode. We had only planned on the satisfaction of redecorating my living/dining room area; the exploding head is merely an added incentive to get it done sooner rather than later. In many houses across this fine land of ours, repainting and re-arranging a living room is not a matter that makes people wheeze into their gin and tonics. But apparently in Chez Professor-land, the placement of the TV has some kind of mystical meaning. Wish I’d known that four years ago, because I think I’ve missed a lot of mysticism and now I’m feeling left out. Final Tally: Mysticism: 1, Me: 0, with an option to change to : Professor’s Head: 0, Me : 1 Also – and this is really very exciting, so hold on to your knickers - : The pictures of Dead People are coming off of my living room walls. I don’t know where they’re going, but you will not be confronted with a couple of dead kings and queens when you walk through my front door anymore. I’m definitely afraid I’ll get home one day and find them hanging above my bed, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take since 95% of the time that I spend in my bedroom I’m sleeping. Final tally: Dead People: 0, Me : 3 We’ve done most of the planning and bought the paint and supplies. And guess what? I have to wait ANOTHER MONTH before I have time to paint. But that also means that it gives me a month to round up people to help with the painting. If I play my cards right, there could be 5 of us. Do you think I could turn that into “I’ll cook a five course meal if you do all the painting for me”? Final Tally : To Be Determined.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Food That....Excuse Me, WHAT?

There's a Captain D's at my exit on the interstate, and a couple of miles before you get off, you're treated to a billboard for it. There's a plate of something fish-like, and a huge slogan: "Food That Loves You Back". Now, I'm not adverse to Captain D's. About twice a year, I get an insane urge for their fish and chips. I don't know what's in their oil, I don't know what kind of fish they use, and I have no idea as to the overall cholesterol content of my chosen meal. And I really don't think I want to. Maybe it's just me, but the idea of "Food That Loves Me Back" makes me very nervous. How, exactly, does it accomplish this? Can it send me greeting cards? Does Halmark make something for this occasion? Am I required to send a Thank You Gift? How, exactly, does food love me back? Do I even really want to know? These are the thoughts that permeate my dreams... I really don't want my meal to remind me of it's presence once it's past my taste buds. As far as my commitment to any one meal, that's kind of my limit. After that point, it's a "better seen and not heard from" situation. I'm great with Food That Loves To Be Eaten. I'm great with Food That Loves, period. Who doesn't want to be loved? But if my dinner is promising to come back from the great beyond that is my digestive track and in any way tell me at 2 AM "Hey, Thanks for eating me!"...well... My love of their Fish N Chips may have been cured.

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to be Popular, in 7 easy steps

1.) Drive into an area that's under a tornado warning. 2.) Get off the interstate and find a truck stop that has free wi-fi. 3.) Power up, do some searching and find a local TV station that has a live stream of their storm coverage. 4) Turn on said stream, volume on low. 5.) Be nice when someone realizes you have outside information and turn your laptop screen so they can see. 6.) When they say "Hey, this girl over here has the TV on!", don't roll your eyes. Just turn the volume up. 7.) Sit back and watch as you become the most popular girl in the truck stop.

How To Make Sure an Argument Doesn't End

Scene: Wife getting ready for overnight trip, buzzing around. Hubby getting ready for a typical day. Somehow, a meaningless comment turns into a meaningless argument. Which turns into sarcasm all around. Both realize it's stupid and pointless at the same time. She laughs, he laughs, and she says "Why are we arguing?" He says "I don't know, why DID you start this?". Really, it's quite remarkable that nothing was thrown at his head.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

How My Day Went

6:01 AM: The Professor tries to tell me it’s really time to get up, the alarms haven’t been lying, I-can-do-it-he-knows-I-can, and as an extra special bonus he’s able to do all this without speaking more than one word. He gets to live another day. 6:12 AM: I convince myself that no, really, that light is indeed sunshine, meaning my boss will soon be looking for me. I roll over (on top of a cat) and try to imagine what I could wear this morning. I decide that today is the day I will eat that can of soup I put in my desk last week for a day when I didn’t want to fix lunch before going to work. 6:15: I have to pee, I can smell the coffee and I’ve told myself that if I can drag myself out of bed, I will be rewarded with an Egg McMuffin for breakfast. Deal. 6:32: I get in my car. How in the world did it take me 17 minutes to pee, brush my teeth, put on some clothes, pour my coffee in the thermos, the Mountain Dew in my travel cup and kiss The Prof goodbye? Was I moving underwater with chains on my ankles? On days when I fix my breakfast AND my lunch, I’m usually done in 20 minutes. 6:35: I cruise into McD’s for my “I got out of bed almost all on my own” reward. An Egg McMuffin is never as good as I think it will be, because what I really want is a pound of bacon. With cheese melted over the top. 6:45: I get to leave the Hell that is the McD’s drive through. Why do they have to power wash their drive through during morning rush hour? 7:45: I arrive at work. Angels sing and rainbows appear. Most importantly, I pour my first cup of coffee. This week I’m really spoiling myself – I bought flavored cream. (Cinnamon Bun, if you’re interested). 8:00 On my 2nd cup of coffee. I’ve looked over emails and read a couple of librarian-ish things. Decision time: Work, or look like I’m working? Why do I ALWAYS choose work? 9:00 Begin flurry of emails with My Girls Up North (Where “Up North is really just “Less South” than my garden spot in Alabama). I’m visiting tomorrow and we have a menu to negotiate. A menu that we are going to make as unhealthy as possible, just because we are adults and we can do that if we want to. So there. 9:42 : Get an email from The Professor. He’s made a dentist appointment for me. 9:43 : Regret my decision to let him live. 9:50 : Realize that really, when I can’t order books, there isn’t a whole lot for me to do. Still I must look busy, so I start reading some of the history in the personnel folders in my desk. Fascinating stuff. No really, no sarcasm. 10:00: Curse a lot because of {name redacted} for doing {information you really don’t need to know}. Actually, the cursing was because of things NOT done, but that’s just semantics. The cursing takes 15 minutes, because my boss fuels it and adds some words of her own. All of this snatches away the caffeine buzz I had going on. 10:58: We (The Girls and I) approval the final menu:
  • Appetizer: Tator Tots (Oh, Maybe with some cheese melted on top? I just thought of that and must email…)
  • EntrĂ©e: Boxed Mac N Cheese, tossed at your discretion with or without a portion of Weiner; Fish Sticks.
  • Dessert: Chocolate Pudding
  • All served with the finest vintage Kool-Aid (or cheap knock off) and your choice of alcoholic additives. Or a glass of wine.
  • Pizza rolls will be in reserve in the freezer.
11:29 : Now I’m hungry, thanks to the food discussions, but suddenly soup (Campbell’s Select Light Vegetable and Pasta) isn’t as appealing as it was. I eat my cheese and crackers instead. And pour another cup of coffee. I need to watch it – I think there’s only about a cup left, and 3:45 is a long way away. 1200: Open Google Reader for some updates, and discover that the internet filters have gotten stricter again. I can still see Reader, but the USA Today Tech Section is blocked? 1201: Remember that my book vendor site was also blocked this week. Wonder how many other things I can’t get to. Decide to just let those surprises come as they will. 1207: Realize I’m in the midst of yet another flurry of emails, this time work related, about details that are so minuscule that none of it will ever matter to anyone. Still, it can be fun to drive these things on because one person takes it so seriously and the other will laugh with me later. 1252: Decide that my frame of mind is entirely too pleasant and begin writing an employee’s interim review. 1255: Decide I’ll wait for her self-assessment to hit my inbox before I write anything. That leaves my own self-assessment to work on. 1325: Realize that saying “I exceeded these goals” 5 times in the same paragraph might be overkill and try to find alternative ways to let my chain of command know how much I rock. 1345: Change the placement of my desk lamp. Thanks to cubicles that haven’t been updated in over 30 years, this is way harder than it needs to be. 1400:The soup finally sounds good to my stomach. 1405 : Read this and wonder why I continue to live in Alabama. It must be my crazy love of fried foods. 1408 : Read this and make a mental note for the 273,619th time to NEVER move to Texas. 1446 : Less than an hour to go! I can make it. I think I can, I think I can…

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I’m becoming my father: A Pop Quiz (in run-on sentences)

When Person A says “the system won’t let me print the information” and I say “That’s ok, I just need to see it, not print it”, and I go into the system and click “display”, and the info most assuredly does NOT display, and Person A says {gleefully} “I told you that it won’t print!”, I will :

A) Say, “oh, that’s what you meant, thanks” and move on to the other 254 things on my to-do list, or

B) NOT IGNORE THIS OBVIOUS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, because it is IMPERATIVE that everyone know the difference between print and display. RIGHT NOW.

When Person B (who is, by the way, also Person A) says “That Office is across base. It’s next to Building 200” and I say “Building 200 is right next door” and s/he says “Well, That Office used to be next door, next to 200” – and this happens 3 times in the SAME conversation, on the third time that I am told “That office is across base. It’s next to Building 200” (which is now OBVIOUSLY WRONG), I will finally say:

A) “Thanks, I’m sure I’ll find it”, while planning on calling and asking for directions later; or

B) “But you just said that the office is across base. Building 200 is next door. Which is it?” And NO MATTER WHAT they reply (because I need them to say they’re wrong at this point), I’ll say “But you just said…”

I have about 4 more examples of this, but I’m going to let it go.

Until tomorrow that is, when Person A/B tells me to go next door to print a report that won’t display. Then, we will have A LESSON IN THINKING ONE THING AND THEN NOT SAYING SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Monday, March 02, 2009

And Now, Happier Things (AWSOFTC(SFBIGTNABO), Part II)

Sidenote: If you sent The Professor and me a very beautiful rose, please let me know! It wasn't signed! A little over 13 months ago, we had what some wonderfully witty person titled the "Alabama Winter Storm Of The Century (So Far, Because I'm Going To Need A Better One)". That person has had her (*ahem*) wish fulfilled. Friday, appropriately, was a Very Stormy Day. We were under tornado watches, severe thunderstorm watches, TORNADO WARNINGS, flash flood warnings - you get the picture - all day. And night. The arriving Original Redhead from Tennessee complained around 8 PM that no one told her to bring an arc. And then, Sunday morning we woke up to snow. We took a drive down to The Professor's University for lunch, and it was still coming down. The University is always pretty; in the snow, it's beautiful. I loved this tree: These were pretty too: In the hour we were there, though, the sun came out; by the time we left, it was starting to melt. Still, there was plenty on the ground when we got home to try and whack The Professor in the butt with a snowball. I missed. But I was distracted by my target.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Very Loud (and Long) Weeping and Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

A week before That Blessed Date when The Professor and I legally linked our lives together, we went to fill out the requisite paperwork at the county courthouse. I knew that on the way home, we’d be passing the local shelter, and I spontaneously asked The Professor if we could stop and look at the cats. His reaction was a little more … dramatic than I expected: “Damn it woman, I was going to surprise you! Are you going to be two steps ahead of me for the rest of our lives?” {Hint: The answer is yes. But I digress} And so, The Professor got me the best wedding present in the world: A cat. There weren’t a whole lot of cats, and I really didn’t want one of the babies – those are always the top pick and have the best chance of getting adopted. I wanted a young adult. The choice was between two cats: A steel grey charmer, who purred and rubbed against our hands, and a sulky exotic looking cat who cried nonstop and didn’t want to be touched. The Professor made the decision very quickly – he wanted Mr Sulky (named “Shelby” by the shelter) because he was convinced an unaffectionate cat wouldn’t get adopted by anyone else. The shelter told us he had been left on their doorstep in the middle of the night that Hurricane Ivan blew through town. Being this far from the coast, a hurricane isn’t as bad as it could be – but it was still a hurricane when it got here. And Mr. Sulky had spent the storm alone, in a box. We debated what to name him while we filled out the paperwork and waited for the volunteers to bring him to us. “Shelby” didn’t seem right. It just didn’t fit, but we couldn’t think of anything better. When we got in the car, the song “Sultans of Swing” was playing on the radio – and we both yelled out – “Sultan”! Sultan immediately made it known that he was not a quiet cat. He paced, prowled and yowled non-stop. So much so that on the first visit, we asked the vet if we should be worried that something was wrong. He just laughed and said that he was almost positive Sultan’s a Bengal – and Bengals have amazing voices. We left him at home when we went on our honeymoon, leaving The Bestest Friend to come by to take care of him. I think that's when she started referring to him as "Senor Mau-Mau", because of his crazy voice. Halfway through the week, he was hoarse from talking so much. A few months later we introduced the Ever-Fluffy Lucius to the house – and Sultan never talked himself hoarse again. “Crazy Cat” is probably too gentle a term – “Spastic” may be better. But there’s no way to describe a cat to someone who hasn’t met him, except to say “WOW”. Also “Makes Stinky Litter Box”, but then, what cat doesn’t? He warmed up to us very quickly. He claimed The Professor, and every morning he's on the floor for the hour that The Professor does his morning workout - laying down next to him for The Professor to put out a hand and pet him as he does his 100's of crunches - this goes on for about 30 minutes every morning. At night, he's either curled up behind The Professor's shoulder to watch TV, or lounging in front of the fireplace if it's the correct season and we're treating him right. Two weeks ago was the annual checkup, and there was a bunch of fluid coming out of his eyes. He’d also lost 3 pounds in the past year, but he just seemed a little tired lately. The vet put him on ointment for the eyes and scheduled a follow-up for 10 days later (this past Monday) – by which point he’d stopped eating and lost another 1 ½ pounds. We did blood work and some other tests, but couldn’t find anything conclusive, so we scheduled some x-rays. And now, because the past 24 hours are interesting only to a very few people, we still aren’t completely sure what’s wrong. But we do know that it’s one of two Very Bad Things – a tumor that I can’t afford to A) find out about, or B) fix if it’s there; or FIP . The vet is pretty sure it’s FIP, and at such an advanced state that there’s no way to even make him comfortable for long. He hasn’t eaten in a week, so he’s literally wasting away. You know what’s coming… I went to visit him this morning, and I can honestly say it’s the most heart-breaking thing I’ve ever done. He’s lost another half pound this week. I knew then that this afternoon would be the end, but seeing him at half the weight he was just 2 years ago hurt more than I thought. He’s not talking anymore – he doesn’t even make a peep when a large dog barks on the other side of the wall. He just snuggled down into my lap and closed his eyes. In my head, I told myself that he was asking me to make him better. And all I can do is stop him from getting worse. The Professor just left to go be there when they put him to sleep. I had planned on going up to the minute it was time to walk out the door. And I couldn't. For once, I let myself back out of something I didn't want to do. And now...it's time to go buy more wine. I drank just about everything in the house last night, and an empty wine rack is a sad wine rack.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Frightening Thought of the Day

Whilst sending an email to my sister this morning, making plans for a summer vacation, I had an epiphany: Six months from today, StepSon will be living at college. In a dorm. Where no parents are present. Prayers and presents of an alcoholic nature (for ME! Not him!) are much encouraged and appreciated.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Day of Service (or, Boy Do I Sound Full of Myself)

It might have been a tad bit obvious close to the end of the last election cycle - and even once it was over - that I had high hopes for this presidential election. Call me a bleeding-heart liberal, but our Prez-Elect's community service past always spoke to me. Not in the "I-hear-voices-in-my-head" way, (I think?), but in a good way. A "Hey-I-can-do-more" way. I'm a pretty mean sales shopper these days, stockpiling food and toiletries that I have no hope of ever using. Last year, I picked a shelter near my workplace to donate my extras to. I've actually started buying MORE stuff, just for that. At the end of December, I discovered that there was a new facet to the inauguration - Obama And Company were calling for a national Day of Service, scheduled for the day before the inauguration - which just happens to be Martin Luther King Day, and a federal holiday. I checked out the website, but there weren't any projects listed for my little section of the state. BUT! These people were ahead of me - I could add my area to my blog reader, and get notices as projects were added. And BOY! Were they added! Yesterday, Michelle Obama put out a video call - really, you should watch it, it's only 2 minutes long. And finally, I signed up for a project in my area. Now, there are projects that are more involved than the one I've chosen. But this one is being organized by friends who own a local business. And since I already have the stockpile to take care of things, I've chosen the lazy way out and decided to go to Eclipse Coffee and join in their food pantry drive. The donations will go to an organization that serves my community, which means a lot to me. The Professor is also off of work that day, so I've recruited him to come along with me. Even more importantly, I've also convinced The Bestest Friend that it's worth getting up out of bed at 7 AM on a holiday to do something worthwhile. So...my question is...what are YOU going to be doing for the National Day of Service?